The Khajuraho Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracts both seekers of spirituality and lovers of archaeology the year round. It owes its popularity to its amazing temples which showcase some of the finest art in the world.
Dating back to 950 AD and 1050 AD (during the reign of Chandela Dynasty), these ancient monuments and temples came into the light because of their erotic inscriptions, along with the mysterious aura that envelopes the place. It is believed that there were about 85 temples earlier, but only 20 of them have survived today. These magnificent temples depict various forms like meditation, kinship, spiritual teachings, wrestling and royalty. However, the main focus is on erotic art.
The monuments celebrate the existence of dance, music and sexuality through its aesthetic representation of architecture and art. Most of these are built from sandstone of different colors which signify various sects. Based on their geographical location, the temples are differentiated into three zones: eastern, western and southern. The temples generally have a sanctum, vestibule and hall. Artistic windows are installed inside for ventilation and light. Some of the temples are for the followers of Hinduism and some for Jainism. These temples seek to bring about harmony between these two religions.
The western zone has the most eminent monuments; these are temples of Kandariya, Lakshmana, Matangeshwara, Mahadeva Chitragupta. All of these lie in close proximity to the Archaeological Museum. The eastern zone is also home to some important temples including Parasvanath Temple, Ghantai Temple, Adinath Temple, Hanuman Temple, Brahma Temple, Vamana Temple and Javari Temple. The southern group of temples include the Dulhadev Temple, Beejamandal Temple and Chaturbhuj or Jatkari Temple.
Khajuraho Group of Temples are accessible through all the major modes of transportation, and can be reached by air, train and road. The best time to visit this place is between the months of September and March. There is ease of accommodation and shopping too. The Khajuraho Dance Festival (held in February) is the perfect time to visit Khajuraho and experience the beauty prettified thousand times more than usual. They showcase the best dance traditions of the country and throw light on India cultural greatness.
Mahashivratri is the festival of Lord Shiva, and on this day devotees cross miles to visit Khajuraho and offer prayers. If you are looking for best deals and discounts on hotels in Khajuraho, this is the time of the year when you should visit Khajuraho temples.
Kandariya Mahadev Temple- Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is the largest, tallest and most beautiful Hindu Temple of the Khajuraho Group of Temples. This medieval marvel dates back to 1050 BC and was built by Raja Dhandadeva, a strong Chandela ruler. The temple is embellished with ornate carvings and sculptures. Its main spire (Shikhara) depicts Mount Kailash and stands with a height of 31 meters. Surrounding this spire are other 84 miniature spires (Urushringas). This temple is dedicated to Hindu Lord Shiva, and has a Shiva Linga made of marbel, as its sanctum. About 646 statues are installed in its boundary that looks even more appealing. The faade of this temple is east facing.
Dhuandhar Falls Bhedaghat- Madhya Pradesh, an often forgotten destination for tourists offers a range of holiday destinations. It is archeologically, historically and culturally an extremely rich state.
The Dhuandhar Falls in Bhedaghat is a well known sight where one witnesses beautiful scenery and complete tranquility. The beautiful falls is rough yet calm, soft yet loud and undoubtedly breathtaking. Dhuandhar Falls or the smoke cascade is a beautiful waterfall in Bhedaghat. The Narmada River after passing the Marble Rocks narrows to become a smoky waterfall. The plunge of Dhuandhar Falls is sudden and hence has a greater effect. This beautiful fall is a spectacular sight in Bhedaghat.
Kanha National Park- Inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling popular novel The Jungle Book, Kanha National Park in the Madhya Pradesh was founded in the year 1955. Best visited between the months of November to June, this national park is a tiger reserve and boasts of being one of world finest wildlife retreats. The park is home to rarely found Swamp Deer and the Royal Bengal Tiger. The maxima and minima in terms of temperature in this national park varies from 40.6°C to 23.9°C. Know more about this tiger reserve here.
Bhimbetka Rock Shelters- The Bhimbetka caves were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2003. Located 46km south of Bhopal, Bhimbetka caves exhibit the ancient art and rock-cut architecture of our country. It is one of the perfect places for art admirers. Out of the 760 rock shelters found here, 500 are adorned with paintings. The cave paintings here date back to 3,000yrs.
According to Hindu Mythology, the name of the cave is associated with Bhima, one of the Pandavas of Mahabharata. Further, it is believed that Bhimbetka cave was the place where Bhima and his brothers rested after being exiled from the kingdom.
The cave is home to a huge impressive collection of paintings and ancient artifacts. The intricate paintings on the walls familiarize you with the concept of ancient art and modern art, which are beyond comparison. One can see paintings of seven different eras. The paintings found here bear a close resemblance to the ones discovered in Kakadu National Park in Australia, to the cave paintings of Bushmen in Kalahari Desert and Upper Palaeolithic Lascaux cave paintings in France.
Pachmarhi Hill Station- Pachmarhi is a lovely hill station nestled in the Satpura ranges and is often called the Queen of Satpura Ranges. Situated at an altitude of 1,067 feet it offers its visitors with absolute tranquility. This Saucer shaped hill resort was founded by the British officer Captain Forsyth. The single hill station of Madhya Pradesh was first a converted to a sanatorium and later into a hill station by the British. Situated at an altitude of 1067 feet, Pachmarhi is dotted with a large number of tourist attractions including beautiful monuments to the ancient caves. This hill station has large flat terrains and is circled by the lofty hills of Satpura. The verdant greenery along with the majestic hills and the majestic waterfalls make the ambiance of the place perfect for a relaxing vacation. The major highlight of this hill station it the spectacular views it provide at the time sun sets in the horizon. The palace is also an archaeological treasure trove as the caves in the Mahadeo hills are adorned with rich rock paintings and are estimated to be as old as 10,000 years.
Bandhavgarh National Park- Declared a national park in 1976, the very well-known Bandhavgarh National Park is surrounded by the Vindhyas in Madhya Pradesh. Best time to visit Bandhavgarh National Park is from february to June. The national park is home to Royal Bengal Tiger in good numbers. The former private hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Rewa, Bandhavgarh is also known to have a mythological connection with the great Hindu epic of Ramayana. Know more about Bandhavgarh National Park here.
Great Stupa Sanchi- One of the famous Bhuddhist shrines, Sanchi Stupa is known for its ancient art and architecture. It is located at the town of Sanchi in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh and is one of the popular tourist attractions.
It was Emperor Ashoka who commissioned the design of Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh in the 3rd century B.C. The beautiful Stupa is surrounded by toranas which reflect love, peace, trust and courage. The central chamber of Stupa is made up of large hemispherical domes, which comprise of different relics of Lord Buddha. It is one of the well preserved ancient stupas in central India and is ranked among the world Heritage sites. Also, it is a great relic of Buddhist school of Architecture dating back to 3rd century B.C. During the Shunga period, the Sanchi Stupa was renovated and decorated with staircase, railings and a harmika. The entrance of the stupa is curved with beautiful sculptures which represent various Bhuddhist traits and adorned with grand sculptures which depicts incidents from the Life of Lord Buddha.
Gwalior Fort- An architectural marvel of the 8th century, the Gwalior Fort is perched on a hilltop, near the Gwalior city of Madhya Pradesh. Being adhered to the conquests of various dynasties and rulers, the design of this majestic hill top had been subjected to various changes. The defensive structure of the fort comprises two main Palaces, temples and water tanks. Amongst it, the most acknowledged is the Teli-Ka-Mandir and Man Singh Palace. The former one was built in the Dravidian style shrine and its generously sculpted exteriors are highly appreciated. Quite a watch are the two pillared Saas-Bahu temples in the fort complex as well.
Then there is the Man Singh Palace, built by the king Man Singh in the 15th century. The reputed Palace has an amazing design. With blue ceramic tiles at the front face and an impressive structure the Man Singh Palace reflects the true colors of Tomar dynasty. To compliment the Man Singh Palace, the Gwalior Fort complex also houses the Gujari Mahal. This was built by Raja Man Singh for his beloved queen Mrignayani. Other notable structures in the majestic Gwalior Fortress are the Karan Palace, the Jahangir Mahal and Shahjahan Mahal.
Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat- Madhya Pradesh, an unexplored region in the heart of India is a state rich in culture and heritage. Flowing through the Madhya Pradesh, popularly known as the heart of India is the holy Narmada River between the imposing Vidhya and Satpura Ranges.
Over 30 meters high on either side of the Narmada River, the towering Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat is a marvelous tourist destination in Madhya Pradesh. The magnanimous rocks with green and black volcanic ridges on the banks of the holy river of Narmada are a beautiful sight.
Marble Rocks by the moonlight is a sight to be witnessed. The black and green imposing rocks from the holy waters and the silver shining moonlight are a charming and enigmatic sight.
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